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Video games as mythology museums? Mythographical story collections in games

  • Vandewalle, Alexander
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2024
Ghent University Institutional Archive
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The growing field of historical game studies (which studies the intersection of history and video games) has often described video games with historical settings as virtual museums, based on their potential to allow players to move through a historical game space and/or interact with historical artefacts. The present article investigates how these insights may be applied to mythological video games (i.e. those that represent and simulate a storyworld known from or inspired by mythological traditions). Specifically, this article argues (1) that through the collection, combination, and presentation of different myths, mythological video games often exhibit characteristics similar to ancient and modern mythography, (2) that on the basis of these mythographical qualities, they may be considered as interactive mythology museums, and (3) that the incorporation of these features has potential for applications in education. As case studies, this article considers the popular games Age of Mythology, Smite, Immortals Fenyx Rising, God of War (and its sequel, God of War: Ragnarok), Apotheon, and Hades in light of their mythographical and museal properties. Finally, several future directions to further improve upon the educational potential of these games for both formal and informal learning are suggested.

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